Mis-Reporting the Filibuster

If you haven’t already seen it, you should check out Hugh Hewitt’s deconstruction of a column by the Washington Post’s Terry Neal. Neal lazily swallowed a DNC press release, or some similar liberal source, and argued that the Republicans are being hypocritical, on the basis of a sentence fragment attributed to Senator Orrin Hatch:

Eleven years ago, when Republicans were still in the minority, Sen. Orin [sic] Hatch (R-Utah) said the filibuster tool should be used because ‘the minority has to protect itself and those the minority represents.’

No self-respecting blogger would just reproduce a portion of a sentence fed to it by one of the parties without at least doing some research to determine what Hatch really said: what was the full quote, and what was the context? But Neal’s standards apparently are not so high. It turns out that what Hatch actually said was:

Mr. President, one of the games that is being played around here is that whenever the majority leader wants to move something along, he files cloture, whether or not anybody has decided to use extended debate. I have heard the majority leader

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